I first saw the news on Facebook in bold caps: JON STEWART IS LEAVING THE DAILY SHOW. Even though I’m a huge fan, my first reaction was to worry about my son hearing the news. He’s a millennial and for him and his peers, Stewart is the absurdist Walter Cronkite, the man they trust to deliver, and analyze, the news. Not only has Stewart kept his generation informed, he made them aware of and even interested in politics, world events, social issues and so much more. To anyone who has tried to inspire interest about current events in the younger generation, this is no small feat.
My son’s reaction was predictable—he declared it the end of the world as we know it. In spite of a wave of articles that crowed about Stewart’s departure (on liberal websites no less) the world seems to agree with my boy that the late night sky is falling.
It’s easy to see why Stewart’s trademark combination of comedy and punditry captured the nation’s attention, but his finest moment wasn’t on his show at all, but rather on the now-famous episode of Crossfire when he lost his cool.
In spite of Stewart’s departure, The Daily Show will go on. The official statement about Stewart’s departure read: “His comedic brilliance is second to none. Jon has been at the heart of Comedy Central, championing and nurturing the best talent in the industry, in front of and behind the camera. Through his unique voice and vision, The Daily Show has become a cultural touchstone for millions of fans and an unparalleled platform for political comedy that will endure for years to come.”